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“Great History Lesson”

World War II Lookout Tower
Ranked #10 of 58 things to do in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Fire Control Tower No. 23 is New Jersey’s last remaining restorable World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles, playing a major part in coastal defenses. Built in 1942, the tower was one of 15 towers that helped aim batteries of coastal artillery, stretching from North Wildwood, N.J. to Bethany Beach, DE. Four were in Cape May County, N.J.—the towers located in North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest were torn down and a third tower is located inside Cape May’s Grand Hotel, Beach and Philadelphia avenues. Fire Control Tower No. 23 is on land now part of the Cape May Point State Park. The tower was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on May 29, 2003 and on the National Register on Nov. 17, 2003. The Tower was restored in 2008-09 by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). The project included: building spiral staircases in the Tower so that the public can safely climb to the top; construction of a wooden walkway from the street to the Tower, and a deck around its base, to preserve the fragile dune environment; replacing the missing windows and doors; recreating historical details, such as the original wooden ladders, and outfitting the watch room and viewing platform at the top; installing interpretive panels along the walkway and at every level in the Tower; introducing lighting and safety alarms; and upgrading the existing parking lot across Sunset Boulevard and connecting it with a cross-walk to the Tower. Robert Russell of Holt Morgan Russell was the restoration architect. This project was funded by three agencies that awarded MAC grants totalling $1.3 million: the New Jersey Historic Trust, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The 3rd level of the Tower features a "Wall of Honor" with then-and-now photographs of over 100 area World War II veterans. In 2012, an "All Veterans Memorial" was erected on the deck at the base of the Tower. The boardwalk, lined with interpretive panels, the All Veterans Memorial on the deck at the base of the Tower and the entry level are all fully accessible
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Sparta,NJ
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great History Lesson”
Reviewed 17 October 2012

It's easy to just drive by this plain concrete tower on the way to Sunset Beach...but don't. Manned by volunteers you get a very interesting overview of Cape May during WW2. Tower built to control the firing at German submarines off the coast. A wolfpack of 7 German subs patrolled here and sank about 170 ships!
Well worth a stop.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Dan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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240 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great honor to our heros before us.”
Reviewed 9 October 2012

Finally we got to go in and climb up. Every time we went it was closed last year and for the first couple of days this year. It was worth the wait great history I'm glad they resored it. The staff was very knowledgeable and very friendly.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A walk into history..”
Reviewed 6 October 2012

After you visit the Cape May light house.. You have to check this World War 2 look out tower.. This is a good work out to make it the top. No gym time needed after these two stops.. But the pay off is worth it. There are very few places where you can see a beautiful view of the ocean. Once at the top, you get a brief history lesson, on what the towers where used for and why the where so important for the protection of our Nations oceans and lands.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Redjaguar100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Refurbished”
Reviewed 11 September 2012

This tower was refurbished several years ago. You can learn a lot about the area in the fourties by visiting and good WW2 information.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank LuvCapeMay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“interesting!”
Reviewed 6 September 2012

i love history and thought this was great! the volunteers that work there are fantastic! it's only a $5 donation and it's for a good cause.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank beachbride0811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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